Gulf of Guinea Forum targets improved regional navy cooperation

  • Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh

By Anthony Nwachukwu

Towards improved maritime security, the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum and Shared Awareness and De-confliction conference (GOG-MCF/SHADE) has prioritised cooperation at sea among regional and international navies at its forthcoming inaugural plenary next month.

The online meeting, to be hosted by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GOGMI) in Accra, Ghana, will be by invitation of the SHADE Co-chairs, the ICC, and the Nigerian Navy.

This was disclosed in a joint communiqué dated June 11, 2021 and signed by the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Inter Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé.

The meeting will host a morning session, which will formally open the plenary and include welcome addresses by regional and international dignitaries, while in the second session, the plenary co-chairs would set the vision and plan for what GOG-MCF/SHADE will seek to accomplish.

According to the ICC Yaoundé and Nigeria, the meeting aims “to produce meaningful actions and measures that translate to a significant increase in the cooperation at sea between regional and international navies, the international shipping industry and the maritime stakeholders in the Gulf of Guinea.”

These actions would be delivered by three working groups: Cooperation at Sea (Operations), Reporting and Information Sharing, and Air De-Confliction, with each working group chaired by a regional representative and supported by a subject matter expert.

The maiden GOG-MCF/SHADE plenary will be an invitation-only working meeting initially focusing on implementing the framework by bringing together stakeholders who have committed to tackling piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea. 

The co-chairs said they would provide a full report of the activities of the forum on an on-going basis and consequently review and adapt the meeting as required to achieve its intended goals.

Nigeria and the ICC, Yaoundé recently floated the GOG-MCF/SHADE following discussions between the NIMASA Director-General, representing Nigeria, and the Executive Director of ICC Yaoundé. The forum aims to galvanise regional and international efforts for security in the Gulf of Guinea.

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